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Cellulosic ethanol produced with Cellerate receives EPA certification for cellulosic biofuels RINs

Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP), Galva, Iowa, has achieved EPA certification to generate D3 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for cellulosic ethanol produced with Cellerate process technology. This is significant because biofuels opponents will no longer be able to argue that there are not enough D3 RINS to justify Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligation requirements for them, according to Delayne Johnson, QCCP CEO.

To qualify as cellulosic biofuel, a renewable fuel must meet a 60 percent threshold for lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. RINs may be "banked," traded or sold for use by parties (fuel producers and importers) who must comply with the RFS.

The Cellerate technology is designed to increase an ethanol plant’s production by allowing the corn kernel fiber to be converted into cellulosic ethanol. Cellerate is a collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of QCCP.

QCCP expects to produce one million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2014 and two million gallons next year.

Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies and Syngenta are licensing the Cellerate technology to other ethanol plants. Two ethanol facilities are expected to license the technology and begin work on incorporating the Cellerate process technology into their facilities in 2015. They would then likely begin producing cellulosic ethanol sometime in 2016, says Jack Bernens, head of marketing and stakeholder relations for Enogen® corn enzyme technology. (Cellerate, in conjunction with Syngenta’s Enogen corn, has been developed to deliver added economic and environmental advantages to ethanol plants.)

The addition of Cellerate technology to dry grind ethanol plants would represent about six percent of their capacity. So, for example, a 100 million gallon per year dry grind ethanol facility would produce an extra six million gallons of ethanol (cellulosic ethanol made from corn kernel fiber), Bernens says.

While not all dry grind facilities in the United States would necessarily implement it, Cellerate technology could essentially enable the industry to create two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol with no additional corn necessary, Bernens says.

Read more blogs from Lynn Grooms on the biofuels industry.

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